February 22 - Judo's new adapted rules will again be tested when the second Grand Prix of the season takes place in the Mitsubishi Electric Halle here tomorrow.
The Grand Prix in Paris earlier this month saw the introduction of the new rules, approved by the International Judo Federation (IJF), designed to make the sport quicker by encouraging more attacking.
The changes include ending the time limit on the golden score, which means a match does not end until one of the contestants scores or gets a penalty, and issuing gudiance that the ippon score - the most famous throw in judo - should only be given to throws that result in "real impact".
The number of referees on the mat has also been reduced from three to one, with one referee sitting at the table with the video, in an effort to help make the sport more attractive to televison.
"Due to the modifications in the refereeing and organisational rules, judo is more dynamic and spectacular," Vlad Marinescu, director of the IJF's Presidential office, said at the draw for the Düsseldorf Grand Prix at the Nikko Hotel, attended by 45 delegations.
"And now, all our events are live broadcasted in high definition, worldwide, which makes judo one of the sports leaders on the market."
Juan Carlos Barcos, the IJF's head refereeing director, claimed that the newly adapted refereeing rules were already having a positive effect on the sport.
"Since the beginning of 2013, we already have records for 1,300 contests," he said.
"The scoring level almost reaches 80 per cent, and the number of ippon has increased compared to last year.
"The most significant statistics concern the golden score as we have less than two per cent of the fights that are entering the extra-time.
"We have more ne-waza (floor) situations.
"Once again, here in Düsseldorf, we have asked the referees to apply the rules and to be strict on penalties for false attack and negative gripping."
A total of 221 men and 139 women are due to fight here, including the Netherlands' Kim Polling, who scored one of the upsets of the tournament at the Paris Grand Prix when she beat France's London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Lucie Decosse with a spectacular ippon.
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